We are down to the final games of the IPL season pre-playoffs with fourth place still on the line. The penultimate game of the league phase will see the Mumbai Indians host the Delhi Capitals at the Wankhede Stadium on May 21, 2022.
The Indians, the most successful team in the league’s history with five championships, are dead last with six points in 13 games. Their showing has come as a big surprise to the cricketing world and the only thing they have left to play for in this game is a bit of pride.
The Capitals, on the other hand, desperately need a win. They are currently in fifth place in the standings with 14 points on board.
If they win, they’ll be tied on points with Royal Challengers Bangalore but the Capitals have a far superior net run rate of +0.255 compared to Royal Challengers’ -0.253. A win for Delhi will guarantee a playoff spot.
The Capitals are the only side that can pip Royal Challengers Bangalore to that playoff spot now after the latter’s victory over the Gujarat Titans on Thursday knocked the Punjab Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad out of the running for the playoffs.
The Capitals have made the playoffs the last three years and will want to make it four in a row. This is almost like a knockout tie for Rishabh Pant’s men.
Mumbai vs Delhi Odds
Mumbai Indians (+125)
The Mumbai Indians will want to end a disastrous season on a high of some note. Captain Rohit Sharma has already alluded to giving a lot of younger players a chance in this game with a lot of anticipation building around a potential debut for Arjun Tendulkar, son of the legendary Sachin Tendulkar.
The Indians emerged as surprise winners when they got the better of the Gujarat Titans earlier in the month, so a twist of the sort is never too far from the cards in the IPL. Some of the newcomers might even rise to the occasion without the fear of failure and expectation that governs every seasoned player from the Mumbai roster.
The Indians have been sleepwalking to the end of the season and it’s almost here. However, the opposition’s desperation might prove itself to be far too decisive in this tie.
Delhi Capitals (-150)
The Delhi Capitals have been patchy all season as suggested by their win/loss record but they have some true match-winners in that side, namely David Warner, Mitchell Marsh and captain Rishabh Pant. The former are used to playing under the brightest lights and it is to them that Pant will look to make sure that they qualify for the playoffs.
Warner has been the man in form with the bat, having scored 427 runs so far in the campaign. Kuldeep Yadav has led the side with the ball, picking up 20 wickets with an economy rate of 8.45. The fast bowlers have disappointed with the exception of Khaleel Ahmed, who has picked 16 wickets with an economy rate of 8.08.
Marsh is heading into this match in good nick and could be the key player in this tie. Sarfaraz Khan has been a good understudy for the unavailable Prithvi Shaw. The Capitals have won their last two matches and will be hoping to make it three in a row.
Their inconsistency makes them a bit hard to predict, losing by 91 runs to an out-of-form Chennai Super Kings earlier in the month. This is a side that could go all the way and will be mightily disappointed if they fall short now.
Mumbai vs Delhi Picks
Delhi Capitals to win (+150)
There’s just too much on the line for one team and not enough for the other to see this playing out in any other way. It’s in the Capitals’ hands and they should win this match and make it to the playoffs at the expense of Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Mumbai vs Delhi Best Bet
David Warner (DC) & Mitchell Marsh (DC) To Both Hit A Six (+150)
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If the Delhi Capitals are going to go through, the two Aussies are going to be key to their chances. You can safely bet on both of them to hit one over the stands.